Suffixes: Augmentative

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Roby
Posts: 3850
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:06 pm

Suffixes: Augmentative

Post by Roby » Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:00 pm

Suffixes: Augmentative


Augmentative indicates that the noun is large, big,
great, etc., more often in the sense of "large size",
but sometimes with the meaning of "important" too.
There is only one augmentative inflection: -one / -ona
(plurals -oni / -one).

Notice how the masculine singular and the feminine
plural are the same (-one).


martello (hammer) ~ martellone (big hammer)
martelli (hammers) ~ martelloni (big hammers)

piede (masculine, foot) ~ piedone (big foot)
piedi (feet) ~ piedoni (big feet)

palazzo (building) ~ palazzone (tall, large building)
palazzi (buildings) ~ palazzoni (tall, large
buildings)

ruota (wheel) ~ ruotona (large wheel)
ruote (wheels) ~ ruotone (large wheels)

chiave (feminine, key) ~ chiavona (large key)
chiavi (keys) ~ chiavone (large keys)

borsa (bag, handbag) ~ borsona (large bag)
borse (bags, handbags) ~ borsone (large bags)

It is important to know the simple form of nouns (in
particular whether they are masculine or feminine),
otherwise it could be difficult to tell if a given
augmentative is masculine singular or feminine plural.
For instance, nasone and casone sound similar,
although the former is singular (from naso, nose), and
the latter is plural (from case, houses).
Obviously, when augmentative is used within a
sentence, the article and often the verb too will help
to tell both gender and number:
il nasone = the big book (singular, masculine)
le casone = the big houses (plural, feminine)

However, since augmentative gives the noun a meaning
of "big, large, huge", etc., especially in common
speech the great majority of feminine nouns changes
gender when this suffix is appended.
For instance:
la faccia = the face (feminine)
...BUT
il faccione = the large face (masculine)

la pistola = the gun (feminine)
...BUT
il pistolone = the big gun (masculine)

la stanza = the room (feminine)
...BUT
lo stanzone = the big room (masculine)

la pietra = the stone (feminine)
...BUT
il pietrone = the big stone, the rock (masculine)

This is only apparently confusing: in fact, the
opportunity of turning almost every plural
augmentative into masculin gender, helps to avoid any
risk of doubt whether the noun is masculine singular
or feminine plural.
The beginner student might think of this as:


masculine singular, -one
masculine plural, -oni
used as the standard augmentative feminine singular,
-ona
feminine plural, -one
only used in limited cases


In spoken language, feminine plural augmentative
changes to masculine for a cultural reason, i.e.
something big, huge, tall, etc. would sound "more
masculine than feminine", especially when the large
size gives the word a rougher, less delicate meaning.
However, feminine plural augmentative does exist. For
this reason, some nouns may have both forms, although
the feminine one is less used than the masculine.
la pietra = the stone (feminine)
la pietrona = the big stone (feminine)
il pietrone = the big stone (masculine, sounds
rougher, heavier, etc.)

la finestra = the window (feminine)
la finestrona = the big window (feminine)
il finestrone = the huge window (masculine, sounds
wider)

la donna = the woman (feminine)
la donnona = the tall / fat lady (feminine)
il donnone = the mighty / fat lady (masculine, sounds
more stout and heavy)

la corda = the string, the rope (feminine)
la cordona = the thick rope (feminine)
il cordone = the thick / braided rope (masculine,
sounds thicker)

la spada = the sword (feminine)
la spadona = the big sword (feminine)
lo spadone = the big sword (masculine, sounds longer
and heavier)

Virtually, any feminine noun may be turned into
masculine when using augmentative.

There are also several words which were born as
augmentatives, but achieved their own individual
meaning, such as:
la mela = the apple (feminine)
il melone = the melon (i.e. "big apple", masculine)

la porta = the door of a room (feminine)
il portone = the entrance, the door of a building
(i.e. "large door", masculine)

la tromba = the trumpet (feminine)
il trombone = the trombone (i.e. "big trumpet",
masculine)

la palla = the ball (feminine)
il pallone = the balloon, or the foot-ball (i.e. "big
ball", masculine)

la copia = the copy
il copione = the (printed) script of a film, a play,
etc.


Finally, there are several words which only resemble
augmentatives, not having any relation with the noun
they seem to derive from, or not having such form at
all:
matto = the madman
mattone (masculine) = the brick

canto = song, singing
cantone (masculine) = corner of a street

pista = the race track, or trail
pistone (masculine) = piston

occasione (feminine) = occasion, opportunity
canzone (feminine) = song
pressione (feminine) = pressure
carbone (masculine) = coal
stazione (feminine) = station
situazione (feminine) = situation

These words may be regarded as "false augmentatives".

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abhijit
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:46 pm
Location: India

Post by abhijit » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:29 pm

my goodness !!! need to study hard...!!

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